On a defense that was in the top-10 nationally in nearly every category, junior defensive-end Joe Jackson for the Hurricanes has had himself a tear of a 2018 season.
The Miami native wasted no time in starting off his UM career on the right foot, with 7.5 sacks and 10.5 TFLs as a freshman while playing in 12 games during the 2016 year. The next season as a sophomore, Jackson continued his ferocious play and finished with 6.5 sacks and again 10.5 TFLs, as he was getting attention everywhere as one of the best DE’s in the nation.
After an impressive first two years for Jackson, he came into the 2018 season with even higher expectations, and NFL scouts were already naming him a potential first-round pick in the 2019 draft. With four of the starting lineman from the previous year gone to the NFL, it would be the first time in his career that Jackson would be the main-guy at defensive end.
With high hopes and even higher expectations, Jackson put on his best season as a Hurricane. To say that he was everywhere would be an understatement.
After a sluggish start to the year over the first three games of Miami’s season, Jackson turned on the gears and went on the attack. In a three-game stretch against FIU, North Carolina and FSU, Jackson totaled 4.5 sacks and 5.5 TFLs. Against the Tar Heels alone, Jackson forced two fumbles and intercepted a pass, running it back for a 42-yard touchdown.
Even on a 7-5 team that struggled mightily due to its inconsistent offense, Jackson was able to shine bright, and Miami’s defense gained national recognition. The constant double-teaming on Jackson allowed other lineman like Gerald Willis III and Jonathan Garvin both to have career-years.
Joe Jackson racked up 7 QB pressures on just 26 pass-rush snaps on Saturday against Pittsburgh pic.twitter.com/4eMSFJGS1u— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 25, 2018
In 12 games, Jackson led the Hurricanes with 8.5 sacks one 14.5 TFLs, both were career highs for #99.
He is expected to declare early for the NFL Draft following this season, so the Pinstripe Bowl agains the Badgers, unfortunately could be his last game at Miami. Jackson leads the Hurricanes defense, who will be without Gerald Willis III, as the Canes will look to finish 2018 with a bowl victory and a 8-5 record.